I start writing this article as India enters into the 5th day of the Adelaide(an achievement by itself). Throughout the England and Australian tours, the stalwarts of Indian batting have been ruthlessly asked questions both on and off the field. With around 37,00o test runs between them, people might say all three in their own way have the right to play the Adelaide test and I wouldn't question that. But this cannot continue forever. And if all three are going to retire from Test cricket in 6 months time, its nothing less than a nightmare for Indian cricket.
The talks of seniors mentoring the junior players and helping in smooth transition is rubbish to say the least. Virat Kohli is the only junior batsman on tour to have played with the seniors. Giving small tips in the nets during practice is fine but when will people like Rohit Sharma, Rahane or for that matter any other fringe batsman get used to it or gain experience? It just so happens that the highest run getter, the second highest run getter and the master of second innings rescue are in the same team and at similar stages of cricket life. It means that if all leave at the same time(which is a very good possibility) there will be a huge gap left. It means one of them has to sacrifice himself for the common good of the team. It means the game comes first and then the individual.
Even after this series if none of them retire, its a plague. If the three like playing cricket and still have some left in them, this is their last chance. Retire from int'l cricket one by one. Spend the next one year in the domestic circuit. Play the Ranji, Duleep and Irani trophy. Play matches with the budding cricketers and share your experiences and knowledge there. Teach them in building partnerships and innings while playing along with them. Give them a sense of security that 'the place up there' is where I come from and let me help you now reach there. Spend time in their dressing room. Show them the spirit and hunger. This is the place you learnt everything. Give back something to the alma mater, i.e the domestic circuit. This will go a long way in instilling confidence amongst the youngsters as well as they will get to know a lot before entering the circuit. This is the only way I see a smooth transition of the team in the next couple of years. The best retirement plan that the three can get and the best insurance that team India can get.
And this is the last and best chance to do it. 2 years of home test cricket. No better chance. the scenario is atleast one must retire immediately after this series and atleast one must stay for the next one and a half years. It is in the best interests of Team India that they are doing it. I would like to finish with one last word to the readers. Don't fight on who should retire first. They know better.